The Internet Counts Too

Just because there can be information on the Internet without a clear author does not mean that you can copy, quote, or paraphrase it without citing it. You still must. If it isn't your work, then unless you cite it, you're stealing it and committing plagiarism.

The more relevant question is: should you even go there?

We all love Wikipedia. There, I said it.

But is Wikipedia really a source? I wouldn't recommend it as anything other than a fun use of your free time and potentially a roadmap to more credible sources. Content on Wikipedia can change every minute. There is no author. Users often change stuff just because they can, and to tick people off. "Pearl Jam" gets turned into "Pearl Ham," for example.

I will always make it clear in my courses that Wikipedia is not a valid source and must not be used as such. Use it to inform your research, never as your only research.

For other Internet sources without clear authorship, use your judgment. Err on the side of not using them at all. But always, always, always cite your sources and paraphrase. Never copy, not even if the material has no clear author. That never gives you a free pass to plagiarize. Nothing does.

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